clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Top Chef Chicago: Meaty Challenges Determine the Final Four

New, 24 comments

We have to admit it—without Dale’s ferocious temper/instigating antics, the episode was kind of a snoozer. Spike is no longer evil (overtly at least), Lisa wasn’t that difficult, and everyone seems to be trying to get along, even the perpetually bitchy Antonia. The quickfire entailed the butchering of some aged rib chops at Allen Brothers, then cooking the finished steak to a perfect medium rare. Stephanie and Richard were on the bottom, while Spike (who comes from a family of butchers) came out on top. Much like the last time Spike won the QF, his advantage over the other chefs came back to bite him in the ass during the EC due to some poor decision-making. During the elimination challenge chefs had to create an appetizer and entrée for Tramonto Steak and man the kitchen for one night. Rick Tramonto of Tru/Tramonto’s Steak was guest judge along with Gail Simmons and (surprise!) former TC winners Harold, Hung, and Ilan. Stephanie won the challenge and of course the bad apple New Yorkers were on the chopping block.

Let’s see how our two remaining NYC chefs fared this time:

1. Spike: Early in the ep, Spike expressed his desire to see Antonia go home—most likely the product of a confrontation earlier in the season. (He still can’t let the butternut squash soup go.) Later, Spike tapped into his genetic butchery skills to win the quickfire and get first pick of protein for the EC. Inexplicably, however, he chose frozen scallops for his appetizer—a wrong move according to Rick. He also got sassy with Rick, citing that the scallops were in his walk-in and they shouldn’t be there if they weren’t high quality. This snide remark didn’t win over Rick or any of the judges. Spike was sent packing for his dumb decision, after having accrued a whopping seven bottom rankings at judges’ table.

2. Lisa: Lisa’s steak skills impressed Rick and she got through the quickfire without incident. Later, Lisa’s “grilled and chilled” shrimp was the judges’ least favorite dish, landing her in the bottom two with Spike. Tom remarked that her vibe seems apathetic, and rolled his eyes at Padma’s comment that “Lisa has an amazing palate.” It was a close call but we will see Lisa in the finale (in Puerto Rico, as we learned), sporting a horrifying new hairdo that we got a glimpse of in the preview.

Highlights: Cameos by Ilan, Harold and Eater-favorite Hung, Spike getting sassy with Rick about his scallops, hand-holding at judges’ table, Lisa's new haircut.

Outcome: Spike was sent home for his decision to use frozen scallops.
—Kelly Dobkin

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world